Wednesday, March 25, 2015

9/11 Conspiracy Theories Rattle On

You can blame French author Thierry Meyssan for the continued and absurd claims about the real "truth" of 9/11.  His book, The Big Lie, insists that the U.S. military attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, a baseless argument that continues to feed conspiracy theorists, who have also accused Zionists and everyone else except the small band of Arab terrorists who actually hijacked the planes and used them as missiles.

Meyssan’s arguments have been thoroughly debunked by independent researchers, including Popular Mechanics magazine, which teamed together researchers and reporters, talked to more than 70 professionals and carefully examined every aviation, engineering and military aspect of the terrorist attacks. 

Here are some of the main findings of the various investigations.

Pentagon aftermath
Conspiracy theorists argue that the holes in the Pentagon walls were too small to be have been made by a Boeing 757.  The answer is that this wasn’t a cartoon.  A plane doesn’t punch a neat hole in a building. In fact, the wing sheared off, according to Mete Sozen, a professor of structural engineering at Purdue University and a specialist in the behavior of concrete buildings. “What was left of the plane flowed into the structure in a state closer to a liquid than a solid mass,” he said.

The Pentagon windows were not destroyed because they did their job:  they are designed to be blast-resistant.

As for photos supposedly showing no plane, blast expert Allyn E. Kilsheimer has an answer.  "It was absolutely a plane, and I'll tell you why," says Kilsheimer, chief executive officer of KCE Structural Engineers PC, Washington, D.C. "I saw the marks of the plane wing on the face of the building. I picked up parts of the plane with the airline markings on them. I held in my hand the tail section of the plane, and I found the black box." Kilsheimer added: "I held parts of uniforms from crew members in my hands, including body parts. Okay?"

Before impact
Supposedly, film of the plane that hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center seemed to show an object under the fuselage, an object not standard on a Boeing 767. That must be a bomb, conspirators claim, “proving” the President George W. Bush ordered the attacks.  Actually, Ronald Greeley, director of the Space Photography Laboratory at Arizona State University, discovered that it was just the Boeing’s regulation right fairing, which has a pronounced bulge caused by the landing gear.

How about the failure of U.S. fighter jets to attack the hijacked planes?  Good reason.  There were only 14 fighter jets on alert in the contiguous 48 states.  Besides, no system exists to provide alerts in cases of commercial hijackings.  Civilian Air Traffic Control has to contact the North American Air Defense Command.  Calls were recorded, but there wasn’t enough time for the five jets eventually sent to investigate to do anything.

On top of that, commercial flights originating in this country are not automatically designated threats and aren’t usually tracked anyway.  Nor is it routine for the jets to “immediately intercept off-course planes,” as conspiratorial theorists claim.  Jets actually chased only one plane in the previous decade, the one with the doomed golfer Payne Stewart on it, and no procedure to intercept commercial flights even existed prior to 9/11.

Collapsing another favorite conspiratorial theory, there were no extra explosives in the World Trade Center.  The jet fuel from the planes and the structure damage were more than enough to bring down the buildings, according to extensive research.  The heat was sufficient to cause the steel to lose strength, which starts to happen at around 1100 degrees.  After all, a lot more burned than jet fuel, explained Forman Williams, a professor of engineering at the University of California, San Diego, a structural engineers and fire expert.
Collapsing tower

He point out, “The jet fuel burned for maybe 10 minutes, and [the towers] were still standing in 10 minutes. It was the rest of the stuff burning afterward that was responsible for the heat transfer that eventually brought them down."  That’s because the temperature in the buildings eventually hit 1832 degrees.

The list could go on.  The ejected dust, supposedly the result of explosives, was actually caused by the “pancaking” of the floors dropping one by one on top of each other.

"When you have a significant portion of a floor collapsing, it's going to shoot air and concrete dust out the window," reported Shyam Sunder of the National Institute of Standards and Testing. 

Pennsylvania crash
Cockpit recordings prove that heroic passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 battled hijackers and forced down the plane near Shanksville, in southwestern Pennsylvania. The plane seen near the hijacked jet was asked to investigate the crash by the FAA.  It didn’t “fire a missile” as conspiracy theorists claim.

No F-16 was in the area to fire a missile either, despite contrary claims.  The passenger on the nearest F-16, Ed Jacoby Jr., the director of the New York State Emergency Management Office, responded angrily to that idea. 

F-16 fighter jet
“It disgusts me to see this because the public is being misled. More than anything else it disgusts me because it brings up fears,” Jacoby said. “It brings up hopes -- it brings up all sorts of feelings, not only to the victims' families but to all the individuals throughout the country, and the world for that matter. I get angry at the misinformation out there."

That’s the way everyone else should feel about the sickening attempts to divert blame away from the true Arab terrorists who committed this horrendous act.    The real question is why anyone persists.

For Meyssan, it’s obvious.  He’s made a lot of money through his deliberate distortions.  For others, such nonsense fuels their anti-government sentiments not to mention anti-Semitism and the other irrational hatreds that bedevil mankind.

Nevertheless, those who continually perpetuate obvious lies place themselves in the same sewer with the terrorists who actually attacked this country almost 14 years ago.

Long-time religious historian Bill Lazarus regularly writes about religion and religious history.  He also speaks at various religious organizations throughout Florida.  You can reach him at  He is the author of the famed Unauthorized Biography of Nostradamus; The Last Testament of Simon Peter; The Gospel Truth: Where Did the Gospel Writers Get Their Information; Noel: The Lore and Tradition of Christmas Carols; and Dummies Guide to Comparative Religion.  His books are available on, Kindle, bookstores and via various publishers.  He can also be followed on Twitter.

You can enroll in his on-line class, Comparative Religion for Dummies, at

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